Reporting from Belgian ground

After quite a lengthy trip back to Belgium, we arrived on Sunday afternoon and headed back to work on Monday. Yesterday we also finalized our reporting to marketing and took part in a follow-up meeting in order to provide our feedback about this experience.

We would like to wholeheartedly thank all of you who have been with us through this journey either by reading our blog, answering our quiz or liking our posts on Facebook & Yammer. It meant a great deal to us to have your support and, truth be told, we put quite some effort into providing you with a continuous status update on our activities.

Last but not least, these are the final winners of our quizzes. Congratulations and, hold tight, gifts are coming your way ;)
• Clotilde della Faille de Leverghem
• Harold Allaeys
• Laetitia Sacré
• Kristel De Beir
• Martin Coquery

Kwaeri (Goodbye) Tanzania

Last thing to do today was picking the winner of our quiz. And the winner is Kristel De Beir. Still one more question to go so check out our quiz.

Our adventure is almost over, we should be thinking about rounding-up and say goodbye to all of you but most likely to all of the nice people we have met here in Tanzania. It is with mixed feelings we are leaving and going back home, on one side we are happy to go back to our families and friends (and our firm J ) but on the other side it looks like we haven’t been doing enough for the needy in this region. Time went so fast due to the well-filled agenda we kept. We hope, no, we are sure, that we have been able to help several people during our stay and that we can count on them to continue helping others by what they have learned from us.

Before we could start packing we still had some last points on our agenda to flag. For a matter of fact, Maxime and Cliff dug into the bookkeeping of our local representative for Close the Gap = Expotech (started up in 2013 by the previous Deloitte team). They went through all the books and checked the final result after one year. They created, in collaboration with John Theodry from Expotech, a new business plan for the coming year(s) and gave him some tips and tricks for his bookkeeping. Diana and Sébastien rounded up their last days of teaching while Klaas went to check some computer installations from previous years.

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And so we arrived at our ‘last evening dinner’ in Musoma, gathering with some of our local friends to enjoy one last meal before packing our bags and getting to the Mwanza airport tomorrow. But if you think we wouldn’t be doing anything on our very last day on Tanzanian soil, you are wrong! Still planned one last thing to do tomorrow. Visit the orphans at GRA as they get together every Saturday morning to spend some quality time together with the volunteers at GRA’s. We are looking forward in doing some craftwork, drawing, playing, … and who knows what else we will discover being with these kids.

We all would like to thank you for following our adventures, for your support, your comments on our blog and for participating in our quiz during these past weeks.

A special thanks to Benoît Vanderstichelen for helping us out in finding our way in Tanzania, for supporting us during the 6 months of preparation and during our stay here. We would also like to thank everybody within the firm who enabled us to participate in this one-in-a-lifetime-experience.

Diana, Cliff, Klaas, Maxime and Sébastien

(almost) The End! (we still have to manage some hours of flight before getting back to Belgium)

Serengeti Yhayo

Dear all, we are back from our trip and, finally, the internet at the hotel is back as well! Apologies for the long silence but being connected is not something to take for granted in Africa, especially while on Safari. Even if for some of us, it took some acclimation, in the end it actually felt nice to live offline and fully connected with nature for once.

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As a matter of fact, on Monday, 15 orphans from Global Resource Alliance (GRA) joined us for a 3 days Safari trip in Serengeti national park. At first, the language was a big barrier, the children were silent and shy and kept their distance. However, we quickly found a solution that did wonders for the little boys: a football game. While spending some more time together and looking at the large variety of animals we found a second way to communicate with them by singing songs.

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Some of us even learned a song in Swahili to reach out to them. As of that moment we could really start bonding together and had an unforgettable time with these joyful children. There is no doubt that we connected, being in an overcrowded bus (we are still amazed that it only broke down at the end of the trip, 2 meters away from our destination).

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We spent hours together, singing, playing and watching several Symba (Lions), Tembo (Elephants), Milla (Zebras), Twiga (Giraffes), Mamba (Crocodiles) and even 2 Chui (Leopards) and 1 Kifaru (Rhino). It was wonderful to see their little faces filled with excitement due to the experience of their first safari.

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At night, covered by dust, the lack of water in our ‘5 star hotel’ (NOT!) barely allowed us to perform the most rudimentary freshen-up, prior to slip under the mosquito net and fall asleep with the sounds of the Savannah in the background.

It has been a journey full of emotions and discoveries and we are quite sure that we provided an unforgettable experience to all of them. We hope they will cherish the memories as much as we do.

Let’s Celebrate!

Our new post is later than planned as internet has been down for 2 days. Luckily we borrowed an internet stick from GRA in order to update you on our latest activities and post new quiz questions. You can find the questions at: http://deloittebe-marketing.polldaddy.com/s/tanzania-2014-01.

 After having picked our first winner, Martin Coquery, we have also just found out who our second number one is: Laetitia Sacré. Thank you both for participating and supporting our project.

Friday was graduation time. Together with our students and NGO participants we celebrated the end of a successful week of teaching. All dressed up, we went together through the history and purpose of our project. This was followed by the topics that we had learned during the week. We also agreed that our participants would continue to share their knowledge with their colleagues upon our departure.  Finally, everybody was officially handed in with a graduation certificate and, on top of that, the NGOs received one laptop per organization. We all had a great time and we were invited to come over more often in order to improve our Swahili. :)

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Today we got the chance to experience the African rain. Ready to start our new classes at the usual time (9 am), we arrived at the venue and had to wait for the rain to stop in order to have electricity. Moreover, we were informed that we should wait till it stopped raining in order for our students to leave their homes and attend the course. We rapidly adapted and started working on the preparation of the laptops for the new courses.

After the first full week (Monday till Saturday) of teaching, we were looking forward to our ‘free’ Sunday and to enjoying a ‘grâce matinée’. You should all know that our days have been starting at 7.30 am with breakfast and most of the time didn’t end before 11.00 pm. Even though our classes stopped around 4.30 pm with a break of 1 hour at lunch, we always had some preparation to do and experience to share with each other. If you think that we had a lazy Sunday-afternoon, you are wrong, we had done some more Musoma-city-exploring in the morning and also visited Kinesi, where we checked out the permaculture site of GRA and met some of the orphans that they are taking care of.

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The end is near…

… of our first week of teaching. And our students are getting better and better as they have improved their Microsoft Office (Word, Excel & PowerPoint) and oral presentation skills.

We’ve given them an ambitious challenge today: “Create a complete PowerPoint presentation with a clear Agenda.”

The NGOs prepared a presentation on their organisations (history, activities, success & challenges, contacts…) while the students described the Mara region. The result was a clear SEE (Substantially Exceeding Expectations). The deliverables were incredibly good taking into account that they achieved it after a single day of training on PowerPoint.

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The presentations of the NGOs were used to create a sort of networking event when all the NGOs presented themselves in front of the classroom. This led to interesting debates, mostly in Swahili which helped us further improve our language skills.

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We have already some candidates for next year trainings. They are looking forward to welcoming the 2015 Deloitte team.

Maxi 

This morning was also the time for us to say goodbye to Benoît who is heading back to Belgium after some busy days full of meetings in Tanzania. Asante Mr. Ben for your big contribution and support to the team.

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We are now getting ready for the big award celebrations of tomorrow where all our students will receive a certificate. But first, they will have to pass the very elaborate exam we prepared.

 New questions have been added to our Quizz! Have a look and take a chance to win nice prizes: http://deloittebe-marketing.polldaddy.com/s/tanzania-2014-01

 Tutaonana kesho!

 

The winner of our first quiz is …

We want to thank everyone who participated in our quiz, check out the movie to see who has won. Your will receive your prize once we are back in Belgium.

The winner of our first quiz is...

We had 280 kg of luggage and it took us 29 hours to get from Belgium to our hotel in Musoma.

A special thanks to John from Exponential Technology and the students from Buhare College and the University of Arusha.

Habari Gani? (Soon to be PROs in Swahili)

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We are doing well. Before starting this post, we want to thank you for participating in our quiz, please check out our new quiz questions of today (you can find it via: https://deloittebe-marketing.polldaddy.com/s/tanzania-2014-01).

Yesterday we gave our firsts trainings! The first day of trainings started by dividing the team into two groups: Cliff & Klaas teaching the students at Buhare school and Diana, Ivan & Seb teaching the NGOs on the Anglican Church premises.

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The NGOs group consists of 10 organizations, 2 participants per NGO. Our teaching session started with an introduction of the participants, the project and ourselves. Although we were prepared to teach in English, we realized that we would also have to use Swahili as many of our participants could not speak English. Obviously, we were not novices in Swahili, since we had already learned a few words during our stay. In the end, we were lucky to have Theophile, the director of the Anglican Church, to back us up as a translator.

During the first day, we focused our training on Microsoft Word as it is the most straightforward Office product and a good basis for the courses on other Office applications. The approach was to use practical exercises in parallel with live demos. Flexible to the needs of our participants, we adapted our material to the fact that some of them had never used a computer before. After teaching the very basics, such as how to use a touchpad or write a capital letter, we finally started the Word training. The training quickly gained momentum. Indeed, our students despite being totally novices were eager to learn and, by the end of the day, they all were able to create a basic Word document, using various formatting, titles, colors, bullet points and, some, even pictures.

On the second day, we shifted to Excel as many of the participants had expressed their interest in finding out more about record keeping and data consolidation. The approach was similar as for Word, as we continuously combined live demos with practical exercises. We immediately noticed that the effort we had put in teaching them Word paid off during the training on Excel. Our students were able to apply by themselves the functionalities of Excel that are similar in Word (size of the text, font, color…).

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The student group is taught by Klaas and Cliff at Buhare School. You would think that school starts at 9am sharp, but in Africa they don’t worry too much about time, hakuna matata, you know…

We expected to teach 20 students but when we arrived at the campus, 31 students were waiting for us. To get to know our audience for the coming days, we started with a meet and greet session.   Afterwards, we kicked off with a basic Windows training followed by a security awareness session. Continuing with a short introduction in hardware and computer components, we trained them how to navigate in Microsoft Windows. What immediately caught our attention was the big difference in knowledge between our students, which created a big challenge in keeping the group together.

During the first break, we finally got the chance to bond with our students. Unlike in Belgium breaks in Buhari School are not used to check your emails but to play games and make fun.

The second day we started with the Microsoft Office Excel training. Our students were eager to learn about how to make calculations and use functions in Excel. After starting from a basic introduction training, we ended up with making pivots and charts. We were surprised to see how fast our students picked up this knowledge.

We will keep you posted on the evolution of our students and our work.